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HP Launches Amplify Data Insights To Equip Partners With Analytics, Growth Opportunities

The ‘channel intelligence’ offering combines multiple data sources for improved targeting of sales and marketing opportunities to customers. ‘No one else is doing this’ in the B2B technology industry, says one solution provider CEO. ‘HP has really stepped out front, taking a leadership role in wanting to do this.’

HP Inc. on Thursday announced the launch of HP Amplify Data Insights, a “channel intelligence” offering aimed at providing partners with powerful data analytics to grow their sales.

The offering is now available to partners in the Power tier of the HP Amplify partner program, following a pilot with select solution providers. Amplify Data Insights requires partners to opt-in on sharing certain data—and in return, the partners receive access to a new analytics dashboard with insights for improved targeting of customer opportunities, HP said.

[Related: HP CEO Enrique Lores On PC Shortages, Hybrid Work Opportunities And ‘Actively Looking’ For Acquisitions]

“The ambition really is to equip our partners with opportunities,” said HP Chief Commercial Officer Christoph Schell in an interview with CRN. “Here’s how this customer is purchasing, here’s how this customer is using the equipment and the services that we make available to them. And here is most likely what your customer is going to go for in the future. We try to predict a little bit where this business is going.”

Data sharing has been one of the hallmarks of the HP Amplify partner program since its launch last November. HP has been asking partners to opt in to share data such as customer purchasing behavior, online sales mix and inventory levels. The company says that 98 percent of qualified partners have opted-in to share data.

Now, HP is rolling out Amplify Data Insights as a dashboard in the HP Partner Portal that provides descriptive, predictive and prescriptive insights to partners, according to the company.

Amplify Data Insights combines data from partners, HP’s own data sources and third-party data such as market research, in order to provide partners with a way to benchmark performance, anticipate customer purchasing and optimize campaigns, HP said.

These insights are useful both in terms of being able to anticipate customer needs and propensity for spending, but also in being able to better plan ahead at a time when PC supplies are tight, Schell said.

“This platform is going to give our partners a lot more insights into how business will plan out. And the further they can predict that, the better,” he said. “Getting our ecosystem of partners and customers into demand planning—that’s where the opportunity is in this environment.”

HP is announcing Amplify Data Insights in connection with its virtual Reinvent 2021 partner conference, being held today.

Richmond Hill, Ontario-based Compugen, No. 53 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500 for 2021, took part in the pilot of Amplify Data Insights and has found that information provided “greatly assists us in being more productive in our engagement” with customers, said Compugen President and CEO Harry Zarek.

The insights are especially helpful in the print business, Zarek told CRN.

“They can help us really clearly identify where the customer is in the lifecycle of technology, in particular for printing—and whether obsolete, end-of-life products may be an opportunity for us to accelerate a replacement strategy,” he said. “The insight that they can provide us is going to improve our understanding of customer propensity.”

The bottom line is that Amplify Data Insights is about “using data analytics to attack the B2B market” in a new way, Zarek said. While consumer-facing tech businesses such as Amazon have heavily focused on this, Zarek said he hasn’t seen a B2B technology vendor launch something like this offering before.

“No one else is doing this. HP has really stepped out front, taking a leadership role in wanting to do this,” he said.

Mark Romanowski, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Port Washington, N.Y.-based Agilant Solutions, said that the analytics available in Amplify Data Insights will be critical in working with customers. In particular, in selling to small and midmarket customers, “it can be difficult to track and difficult to manage,” Romanowski said.

“If you can have a partner that can help you in a collaborative fashion to make some sense of your sales and support activity, I think that’s all good,” he told CRN. “Data is king, and what you do with that data is the key to your success.”

Romanowski said he sees Amplify Data Insights as bringing a level of automation to customer engagements that partners haven’t had before.

“The potential is huge. We don’t have all the pieces yet, because it’s still unfolding for everybody. But if you think about, ‘why is somebody buying X over Y?’—it’d be nice to understand that proactively, so then you can really do target marketing and target sales initiatives, based on some intelligence,” Romanowski said.

“From an AI perspective, the entire industry is moving more and more toward that direction. And HP is embracing it,” he said. “I think it’s going to be great for the channel and it’s going to be great for the industry.”

Crucially, while some partners have expressed concerns that HP would use the partners’ data to go direct, “that’s not the plan,” Schell said.

“We are very committed to the partners—we don’t want to change that,” he said. “But we want to get smarter, and we don’t want to be left behind in this channel ecosystem play that we have, relative to go-to-market competition that is going more direct.”

Amplify Data Insights also promises to offer business intelligence to partners that is available at any time, and is not contingent on meeting with representatives at HP, Schell said.

“The engagement is not dependent on getting together,” he said. “[Partners] can go on the HP portal, they can start inquiries and get the information pretty much every minute of the day, whenever they want to do it. So, the frequency of engagement is increasing—and by that, obviously, the opportunity is increasing.”

Ultimately, the long-term value of Amplify Data Insights will be to help partners “get into outcome-based engagements with their customers—making the relationship strategically more important, and also stickier,” Schell said.

“By doing that, I think the barriers of entry that our partners will generate [to] keep competition away are going to be much better,” he said.

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